HH 901

Herbig Haro 901 is a multiple light-years tall pillar of gas and dust inside the star-forming region know as the Carina Nebula. It contains several massive young stars which emit powerful jets that emerge from the cloud. Some of the jets create bow-shock patterns similar to the bow waves of a ship plowing through the ocean. Very few of these stars can be seen  because the gas and dust block starlight, but in an infrared view, more stars become visible. The visible-light colors result from the glow of different gases: oxygen (blue), hydrogen/nitrogen (green), and sulfur (red). The Carina Nebula is approximately 7,500 light years from Earth.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

An Ancient Galaxy

NGC 1277 is an oddball galaxy near the center of the Perseus cluster about 240 million light-years away. The galaxy is unique among the other 1,000 or so members of the cluster because it’s composed exclusively of aging stars that were born 10 billion years ago. This ancient relic of a galaxy is moving so fast through the cluster (almost 900 km/s) that it can’t merge with other galaxies to collect stars or pull in gas to fuel star formation. Also, the intergalactic gas is so hot NGC 1277 cannot cool to condense and form new stars.

Video Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

Asteroid Photobombing

This Hubble image of a random patch of sky is part of a survey called Frontier Fields and was assembled from multiple exposures. It contains thousands of distant galaxies and the trails of asteroids moving through the field of view. The asteroid trails appear as curved or streaks. The combined image show 20 sighting of 7 different asteroids.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

NGC 4993

On 17 August, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory detected gravitational waves from a neutron star collision. Within 12 hours, observatories had identified the source of the event within the galaxy NGC 4993 and located an associated stellar flare called a kilonova. Hubble watched as the flare of light from the kilonova faded over the course of 6 days. The inset images show the decreasing brightness in observations taken on the 22nd, 26th, and 28th.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA / STScI

A Matter of Perspective

Spiral galaxies are pancake-shaped collections stars and vast clouds of gas and dust. This video illustrates how their observed shapes can differ change depending on the angle at which they are observed. This video pictures models of the spiral galaxies NGC 4302 (left) and NGC 4298 (right) in three dimensions and rotates them to show how they might look if viewed from other perspectives. The models are based on observations by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, as well as on the statistical properties of galaxies. Because we see NGC 4302 nearly edge on, and its structure is not well-defined—its model is based upon observations of the spiral galaxy Messier 51.

Video Credits: NASA / ESA / STScI